How to Get Started with RPA
Automation is one of the many components of a sound digital transformation strategy. Companies today are rapidly digitizing and automating parts of their business through implementing robotic process automation (RPA) technology. Here, we’ll detail the critical need-to-knows for organizations getting started with RPA.
Establish a Foundation for Innovation
By now, many businesses have hear the term robotic process automation (RPA), but understanding how to get started with RPA is a different story. RPA is a form of technology, governed by a series of inputs, that serves the sole purpose of automating various forms of business processes. “Bots” harness and manipulate data, trigger desired responses, and communicate the process with other configured bots in the network.
Specific business functionalities previously stimulated by humans are now manually controlled by an internal robotic entity. RPA creates tremendous opportunities to grow revenue while also reducing operational costs. Through assisted bots, humans can work alongside their “digital partners” in tandem, all while being freed from repetitive, rule-based tasks that require hours of time.
It’s also crucial to remember that RPA is not a “one size fits all” solution for a company’s process execution problems. Avoiding applying RPA to wrong processes (i.e to fix bad practices or to skip modernizing your applications) is just as important as applying a healthy mindset to this implementation. This is why a thorough assessment is necessary to identify the proper candidates for automation within your organization’s processes.
How to Get Started with RPA – Practical Steps
1. Create an Enterprise Automation Strategy Roadmap
Establish a business-focused enterprise automation strategy and roadmap (EASR) that lays the groundwork for successful adoption and business-value creation for your organization. This strategy should highlight the opportunities for automation across the organization. This involves the processes, people (skills and sourcing options), and technologies required for establishing a sustained, high-performing RPA program to respond to business needs with agility.
2. Educate, Set Goals, and Fail Fast
Educate and set realistic expectations with executives and leaders to gain trust and sponsorship for successful outcomes. Often, organizations are timid about implementing RPA for a variety of reasons. They may be afraid to place processes in the hands of an untrained bot, or fear may be present that this “robot” will render them useless. Both could not be further from the truth.
Automating standard business processes opens up innovative avenues of your workforce by way of time saved. Members of your team that were once consumed with a mundane, step-by-step workload are now free to provide avenues of creativity and innovation to other processes.
3. Identify Automation Opportunities in Your Processes
During an initial automation assessment, companies will often find several manual activities being performed by hundreds of office workers that can be automated. Within these activities are hours of wasted energy and time that could be designated to digital software bots. Some common use cases that are ripe for automation are:
Master data maintenance across systems
Financial closing and reporting
Time entry and payroll validation
NOTE: Having trouble identifying the right automation candidates? A partnership with Smartbridge can help! See step 5 for more details.
4. Implement an Internal Governance Model
An RPA implementation needs to be seen and treated as a corporate-wide initiative, rather than a series of stand-alone objectives. Likewise, the implementation must align with the goals and standards of the business. The governance body, or more accurately the Center of Excellence, should be the key champions, owners, and SMEs responsible for overseeing RPA’s involvement in the organization while also redistributing knowledge among team members and partners.
5. Choose a Technology Partner
To ensure your organization obtains a desired ROI, don’t make the mistake of going at an RPA implementation alone. Choosing the right partner (and thus the right technology) is one of the final steps before the implementation begins. Here’s what to look for:
Breadth of RPA project/implementation expertise
Well-rounded (IT and business savvy) consultants
Functional and industry-specific experts
Experienced across a variety of tech. solutions
Partners with leading RPA technology providers
Flexible/agile team of innovative critical thinkers
Smartbridge can be the partner you’re looking for. Our RPA specialists will lead you through your automation journey to create a future-state automation start to finish strategy/road map. Through proper education, assessments and even education, we carefully place you on a journey that creates market differentiation relative to your competition. Explore our RPA experience through our partnerships and resources below:
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